Backspace Gallery presents a vibrant program of exhibitions which showcase contemporary art, craft and design and celebrates the arts in our region. Backspace Gallery, part of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, provides early career regional artists with an opportunity to exhibit in a professionally supported gallery.
This opportunity is available only to those in the early stage of their professional career as an artist, usually within the first five to ten years of professional practice.
Backspace is situated within the main Art Gallery of Ballarat building. Backspace exhibitions are open to visitors during advertised Gallery hours and do not need to be staffed by exhibiting artists.
There is no fee to exhibit in Backspace Gallery. Exhibitors receive assistance with installation and publicity and an opening event if possible. Works may be made available for sale through the Gallery Shop, and a 30% commission applies to all sales of work.
All applications for inclusion in the program are evaluated by a selection committee and are based on the written application and supporting material supplied in the online form.
Artists exhibiting in Backspace Gallery are required to: provide artwork that is the original work of the exhibiting artist(s) and sign an Exhibition Agreement and work collaboratively with Art Gallery of Ballarat staff in facilitating the exhibition.
Preference will be given to applicants living or working in the City of Ballarat and wider region. Applications from artists outside this area are welcome but should demonstrate a connection or benefit to Ballarat or region.
Applicants who have exhibited or will be exhibiting in a City of Ballarat space such as Artspace or Unicorn Lane in late 2020 or in the 2021 calendar year are ineligible to apply to exhibit in Backspace under this callout to ensure that opportunities provided to artists by the City of Ballarat are distributed as widely as possible.
Backspace Gallery showcases the City of Ballarat’s commitment to a creative city by encouraging the development of innovative arts practice in the Ballarat region.
This callout covers exhibition proposals for the end of 2021 and the 2022 calendar year.
Selection process and criteria
Backspace Gallery exhibition proposals will be assessed by a selection panel using the following criteria:
Timing: Whether the applicant has exhibited in a City of Ballarat space in the previous 12 months and whether the exhibition ties into a specific event or anniversary
Clarity: Clear and cohesive exhibition rationale with a strong concept
Quality: Examples of work that demonstrate experience in producing high quality innovative artworks to public gallery standards. The artist’s prior practice, exhibition record, and demonstrated history of excellence will be taken into account.
Capacity building: Potential contribution to local creative professional development
Engagement: Relevance to wider Gallery programming or community groups and activities, and will the exhibition help attract new audiences
Balance: Overall balance across the year’s exhibition program
Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within four weeks of the closing date of application.
Services provided by the Gallery
- layout and installation of the exhibition
- curatorial advice and support
- an opening event (depending on COVID restrictions)
- printed exhibition invitations/flyers (depending on COVID restrictions)
- digital e-flyers
- advertising and promotion
- Applications are open to regional artists who are at an early stage in their career.
- All applications must be submitted online.
- Applications close: 11.55pm Sunday 14 March